ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

 
ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
                                                                     119 ALBERT STREET

                                                                      ASHBURTON 7700

                                                              MOE PROFILE NUMBER: 608

                 APPLICATION FOR CHANGE OF CLASS
               FROM RESTRICTED COMPOSITE (YEARS 1-10)
                        TO FULL COMPOSITE (YEARS 1-13)

        APPLICATION FOR MAXIMUM ROLL INCREASE
                                       FROM 120 TO 345

                                                                  APRIL 2019

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ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Table of Contents
     OVERVIEW ......................................................................................................................................... 3
     School Details ......................................................................................................................................................... 3
     Ministry of Education – Required Information ....................................................................................................... 4
     Application Summary ............................................................................................................................................. 5
     Brief History ............................................................................................................................................................ 5
     Proprietor Experience ............................................................................................................................................. 5
     Other Considerations.............................................................................................................................................. 6
     Vision Overview ...................................................................................................................................................... 6
     BENEFITS EXPLAINED ......................................................................................................................... 7
     Faith-Based Education ............................................................................................................................................ 7
     Primary, Middle, Senior Secondary School Structure ............................................................................................. 7
     Alternative Secondary Provider ............................................................................................................................ 10
     Personalised Learning ........................................................................................................................................... 12
     A Competencies Based Approach ......................................................................................................................... 12
     Leadership and Servanthood ................................................................................................................................ 12
     EDUCATIONAL VIABILITY .................................................................................................................. 14
     Philosophy of Education ....................................................................................................................................... 14
     Change Management ........................................................................................................................................... 18
     Proposal for Year 11 to 13 Curriculum ................................................................................................................. 19
     Strategic Plan ........................................................................................................................................................ 24
     Building Design ..................................................................................................................................................... 24
     Financial Viability .................................................................................................................................................. 25
     CONSULTATION ............................................................................................................................... 26
     Board of Trustees ................................................................................................................................................. 26
     Ashburton Christian Schools Trust ....................................................................................................................... 26
     Parent Survey ....................................................................................................................................................... 26
     Student Survey ..................................................................................................................................................... 29
     Staff Survey ........................................................................................................................................................... 31
     Other Schools Affected ......................................................................................................................................... 32
     IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL ORGANISATION.................................................................................... 33
     Current Roll ........................................................................................................................................................... 33
     Roll Forecast ......................................................................................................................................................... 33
     Population and Demographic Factors .................................................................................................................. 33
     Network Capacity ................................................................................................................................................. 34
     Network Impact .................................................................................................................................................... 34
     IMPLICATIONS FOR PROPERTY/RESOURCE ....................................................................................... 35
     Current Site ........................................................................................................................................................... 35
     Proprietor Finances .............................................................................................................................................. 35
     Transport .............................................................................................................................................................. 36
     Costs to the Government ..................................................................................................................................... 36
     APPENDICES .................................................................................................................................... 37
     Appendix 1: Expression of Interest ...................................................................................................................... 38
     Appendix 2: Population Projections ..................................................................................................................... 41
     Appendix 3: Kāhui Ako in ACS Enrolment Zone .................................................................................................... 42
     Appendix 4: Year 9 and 10 Options Board Report ................................................................................................ 43
     Appendix 5: Strategic Plan (Excerpts) ................................................................................................................... 46
     Appendix 6: Minutes – BOT, Land Trust (Excerpts) .............................................................................................. 48
     Appendix 7: Survey Responses – Verbatim .......................................................................................................... 49
     Appendix 8: Site Plans: Current and New ............................................................................................................. 55
     Appendix 9: SPG Calculation ................................................................................................................................. 56

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ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Overview
     School Details

       School                          Ashburton Christian School

       MOE #                           608

       Address                         119 Albert Street, Ashburton 7700

       Phone                           03 307 6340

       Website                         http://www.acs.school.nz/

       Class                           Restricted Composite Year 1-10

       Type                            State Integrated School

       Proprietor                      The Christian Schools’ Trust

                                       Joyce Stowell
       Board of Trustees Chairman
                                       stowellj@icloud.com
                                       Mark Larson, 027 485 2244
       Proprietor CEO
                                       m.larson@middleton.school.nz
                                       Tim Kuipers, 027 234 1490
       Principal
                                       principal@acs.school.nz
                                       Andy van Ameyde, 021 131 1987
       Proprietor Agent                Christian Education Network Coordinator
                                       a.vanameyde@middleton.school.nz

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ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Ministry of Education – Required Information
    Request
                     Information Required                                                    Page
    Source
    Application
                     School details                                                          3
    Form
                     Type of Change of Class, how to be phased in                            5

                     Parental Consultation                                                   26

                     Staff Consultation                                                      31

                     Student Consultation                                                    29

                     Implications for wider educational community                            32

                     Transport                                                               36

                     Implications for school organisation                                    33

                     Property/Resource Implications                                          35
                     Any year 1-10 student can undertake continuing study in all seven
                                                                                             14
                     essential learning areas
                     Any year 11 and above students can receive a balanced curriculum
                                                                                             14
                     recognising
                     An Education Review Office Report of a review that has been carried
                                                                                             37
                     out within the past 24 months
                     A strategic plan that outline the education programme to ensure         24

                     Network effects of maximum roll increase                                34
    Education Act    The ability of the proprietor’s state integrated school or schools to
                                                                                             TBA
    Section 457      continue to provide the level of education required
                     The average per student cost of the continued operation of the
                     proprietor’s state integrated school or schools relative to the         TBA
                     average per student cost for other state schools
                     The extent to which the proprietor’s state integrated school or
                     schools provide for students whose needs are not met by other           TBA
                     state schools
                     The ability of the proprietor to meet any obligations regarding the
                     proprietor’s state integrated school or schools over the next seven     TBA
                     years.

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ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Application Summary
    In this application, The Christian Schools’ Trust (CST), the proprietor of Ashburton Christian School, is
    applying for a change of class to allow the school to educate students up to and including Year 13. The
    CST is applying for the additional year levels to be phased in with Year 11 and 12 starting in 2021, and
    Year 13 in 2023.
    The proprietor submitted an Expression of Interest document to the Regional Office of the Ministry of
    Education in November 2018.                                                                (Appendix 1)
    As part of the overall application the proprietor is also applying to increase the maximum roll of the
    school to 345 which equates to a full class at each year level from Year 1 to 13.
    More specifically the proposed structure will be:
    Junior School: Year 1-6:      145 Students
    Middle School: Year 7-10:     115 Students
    Senior College: Year 11-13:    85 students
    The roll increase figure was arrived at after considering four factors:
        1. 2018 Potential Market Share calculations for Special Character Education for Christian Education
           Network Schools in the Greater Christchurch area. (Pers. Comm. MOE Dec 2018).
        2. Current expected population growth in the Ashburton District                          (Appendix 2)
        3. A growing Christian Pasifika population. Currently the school has a low level of enrolments from
           this community but is investigating ways to make access more affordable for this group.
        4. The possibility that some families from other Special Character schools (Catholic) in Mid-
           Canterbury may have a general association with the ACS Special Character for education at Years
           11-13. The proprietor will need to discuss and evaluate what this may look like in practice.
        5. Demand from preference rural families whose only previous choice for special character education
           was outside the district now will have a local choice.

    If the above proposal is approved, a discussion with the Ministry of Education as to how the maximum
    roll could be structured is required. This would include separating out the maximum roll between Y1-10
    and Y11-13 and looking at the possibility of different levels of non-preference students for each of these.
    Brief History
    The school had its beginning in the work of local farming couple who called public meetings and initiated
    proceedings during 2005 resulting in the formation of the Ashburton Christian Schools Trust (ACST). The
    ACST purchased property in 2008, gained a resource consent for educational purposes and opened as a
    private school in 2009 with a roll of 27 Y1-8 students. The school integrated into the state system in 2011
    with the proprietor being the CST which leased the school property from the ACST. In 2012 the school
    was granted permission to extend its curriculum to include year 9 (2013) and then year 10 (2014). The
    school is currently at its maximum roll of 120 students.
    Proprietor Experience
    The school’s proprietor the CST, is an experienced proprietor and is currently the proprietor of 4 schools -
    Middleton Grange School, Aidanfield Christian School, Rolleston Christian School and Ashburton Christian
    School. It has its own management team with expertise in education, finance and property. These 4
    schools are all full members of the Christian Education Network (CEN) and so can call on the support and
    expertise of the CEN office. The CEN Office has recently supported Richmond View School (a CEN
    Associate Member) in Blenheim in its successful similar application, and the CEN will facilitate both
    schools working together as they grow into the higher educational levels. If this application is granted the
    intention is to begin year 11 education in 2021 the same year as Y11 will begin at Richmond View School.
    The two schools have similar backgrounds in that they are both serving the families of medium sized rural
    service towns and the surrounding rural community.

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Other Considerations
    Governance Personnel
         •   A CST trustee is a proprietor appointee to the Ashburton Christian School Board of Trustees
         •   The finance and property person from the CST Office is a proprietor appointed trustee on the BoT.
         •   The CEN Coordinator has since the beginning of 2018 been a guest advisor at BoT meetings.

    International Student Accreditation
    Ashburton Christian School has recently become a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of
    International Students) Code of Practice. Hosting international students will both assist in providing a
    greater scale in senior classes and provide income stream for the BoT. The school will be able to leverage
    off the success of MGS in this area.
    Participation in Local Education
        •    ACS is an active member of the local Kāhui Ako
        •    The ACS principal is chair of the Mid-Canterbury Principals’ Association
        •    The ACS principal is a member of the executive of the New Zealand Association for Christian
             Schools
        •    ACS is currently the host school for the Mind Plus program.
        •    ACS is an active participant in the local school sports cluster

        From the above it is apparent that the school is an active participant in its wider community and
        plays its role in the wider educational initiatives and activities of the district.
    Vision Overview
    Ashburton Christian School founders have had a long-term vision of meeting the demand for special
    character education in Mid-Canterbury. After surveying parents, and finding them very supportive, the
    proprietors agreed to put in this application for Change of Class along with an increase to the school’s
    maximum roll.
    The main motivation for offering Year 11 to 13 at ACS is providing choice for families in the district. The
    provision of this choice supports a well-established and important part of the New Zealand schooling
    system and is in line with current Government thinking.
    Offering a Senior Secondary option, in our view, will benefit the Mid-Canterbury community by
    cooperating with and being a complement to the two local colleges, serving the community together. The
    choice of a Senior Secondary at ACS would add value to and benefit the community in the following ways:
        1. Faith Based Education: Extending provision will allow parents the option of remaining in Special
           Character Education where the environment matches the home and family values.
        2. Primary, Middle and Senior Secondary School Structure: A flexible Primary, Middle School, Senior
           Secondary Structure on the one site will offer a seamless developmental approach to learning
           through a personalised learning approach unique to Mid-Canterbury
        3. Broader Local Provision: An alternative and smaller secondary option within Mid-Canterbury is
           complementary to what is currently provided, and the size has subsequent positive implications
           for pastoral care and student engagement.
        4. Personalised Learning: A highly flexible personalised learning philosophy will meet the needs of a
           wide range of pupils.
        5. A Key Competencies Based Approach: A competencies-based approach that is both deliberate and
           personalised builds capacity for lifelong learning.
        6. Leadership: Leadership opportunities are of a high quality and authentic and can be provided to a
           high percentage of students.

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Benefits Explained
    Faith-Based Education
              “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”
              Matthew 7:12

              “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds.”
              Romans 12:1

    There is currently no option beyond Year 10 in Mid-Canterbury for faith-based education. Our Special
    Character, when properly understood, is a powerful tool for developing tolerant, deep thinking people, of
    sound character, motivated out of love and altruism. A central tenet of Scriptures is that all people are
    equal and of great value, regardless of race or creed. Our vision to Love, Know, Serve and Impact is
    deliberate in its intention to provide students and graduates a powerful and visionary narrative to benefit
    society.
    The school’s past ERO reviews affirm our Special Character as a strength. Those reports take into
    consideration parent, pupil and teacher voice. The most recent ERO visit was conducted on 11 to 13
    March 2019. The report will be available in Term Two of 2019, at which time we will submit as an
    addendum to this application. Early findings affirmed the observations from the 2015 report, which
    states:
              “Ashburton Christian School’s special character is well embedded and reflected in all
              aspects of school life. Students and staff learn and work in a caring, nurturing and
              respectful environment. There is strong support and involvement from the
              community.”

    At present, a faith-based choice can only be accessed by travelling to Christchurch each day, moving out
    of the district, attending boarding school or home-schooling. Four families in the last three years have
    chosen one or other of these options. Over the last five years, 25% of the school’s Year 10 graduating
    students have not enrolled with the local college closest to them. This is not to suggest anything negative
    about the current options in Mid-Canterbury, but only to indicate that the options currently available do
    not meet the needs of all families.
    Primary, Middle, Senior Secondary School Structure
    In the process of preparing for this application, consideration was given to the work of Richmond View
    School and Ann Milne. ACS has assisted Richmond View School (RVS) with the establishment of Years 9-
    10 and hope in the future to continue to work collaboratively in establishing Years 11-13. The schools
    share a great deal in terms of philosophy and practice.
    By permission from RVS, a paper from Ann Milne is included below. It was produced initially for RVS and
    clearly articulates the benefits of the structure ACS proposes, especially in light of being a Special
    Character school. Sections in [square brackets] have been added and are specific to ACS and this
    application. It will be evident on reading that the ideas expressed are echoed throughout the section
    ‘Educational Viability’ on page 14 of this application.

    by Ann Milne PhD
    Ann Milne Education
           Dr Ann Milne was the principal of Clover Park Intermediate School in 1995 at the time
           of the Minister of Education’s approval to change the school’s status to become Clover
           Park Middle School (Years 7-10). She led the development of the school through this
           stage, and then through its further growth to become Kia Aroha College, a Year 7-13
           designated-character school. This development is the focus of her doctoral research.
           She therefore brings both theoretical and practical experience to the benefits to
           students from this structure.

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There is no doubt that adolescence is a time marked by significant physical, social, emotional and
    intellectual change. These changes result in a demand for increasing conformity to societal rules and
    adult roles from family, friends and social institutions. Elliot and Feldman (1990), point out that,
    "whatever the biological imperatives driving adolescence, society shapes and directs these in powerful
    ways."
    The New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007) formally acknowledges early adolescence as a
    stage of schooling designated by the Years 7-10 Learning Pathway, equivalent in standing with Years 1-6
    and Years 11-15. These three stages are intentionally and specifically supported in the proposed
    structure [ACS having already established the Year 7 to 10 model]. The core developmental needs,
    identified by Lipsitz (1980), Dorman, McKay (1995), and Lipsitz, Mizell, Jackson and Austin (1997) which
    distinguish emerging adolescents from other developmental stages, are encapsulated in this statement in
    the New Zealand Curriculum:
            “A responsive curriculum will recognise that students in these years are undergoing
            rapid physical development, becoming increasingly socially aware, and encountering
            increasingly complex curriculum contexts. Particularly important are positive
            relationships with adults, opportunities for students to be involved in the community,
            and authentic learning experiences.” (Ministry of Education, 2007, p. 41)

    Stewart and Nolan (1992) point out that each of these core developmental needs has an academic and a
    social aspect. Firstly, the academic aspect refers to the educational abilities, knowledge and skills that
    adolescents are expected to acquire and develop at school. Secondly, the social aspect, the societal
    curriculum, which refers to educational attitudes, beliefs and values – the development of self-concept,
    self-efficacy and personal identity and the ways in which people interact with each other and conduct
    themselves and develop a personal identity. (Beane 1991). Collins (1991, p.4) links adolescents' cognitive
    development with their moral development implying that development in thinking allows adolescents to
    grapple with the complexities of moral issues [See ‘World View Studies’ and ‘Project Based Learning’
    p20].
    However, this period is also associated with heightened impulsivity and risk-taking that has been linked to
    school-related challenges such as antisocial behaviours and declining grades Diggs and Arkos (2016). The
    New Zealand Ministry of Education’s research (Durling, Ng, & Bishop, 2010) also refers to this alienation
    from school:
            “While New Zealand students have relatively high achievement outcomes during the
            middle schooling years, data drawn from a number of studies highlight issues
            associated with participation and engagement in schooling. From the age of 11 the
            indicators of disengagement from schooling, such as stand-down rates, suspensions,
            exclusions and truancy, start to take a negative trend.”

    Diggs and Arkos (2016), researching character education, believe that in the middle and high school years
    young people should be taught the nuances of values decisions and explore how to navigate these issues
    [See ‘World View Studies’ and ‘Project Based Learning’]. They find that character education operates at
    its best when it is part of school culture. It follows that this learning is most effective when it reflects the
    values and ethics of the home, so that young people do not have to change who they are at the school
    gate in order to “fit in” to the culture of the school [See Parent Surveys, which show this as the number
    one priority of current families p27].
    This very struggle, albeit in a different context, is the story of the development of Kia Aroha College in
    Otara, South Auckland. In this case, Māori parents, faced with transitioning their children from a
    supportive bilingual environment in Years 7 and 8 could not find this option beyond this level. The group
    was very specific about their expectations. They wanted continuity of a Māori whānau learning
    environment and te reo Māori (Māori language). They wanted teachers who knew their children well,
    and with whom both students and whānau could establish a reciprocal relationship. They wanted high
    academic outcomes and consistently high expectations. They wanted their children to have clear
    boundaries and they worried about their children’s safety and learning in a secondary school system

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where Māori values and knowledge had little worth and where they had to relate to many different
    adults each day who did not share these same values. Many families spoke from the schooling
    experience of the parents themselves and also of older siblings in the family (Milne, 2016). [The matter
    of continuity was also a main consideration of parents at ACS, as reflected in the parent survey p27].
    It should be no surprise that these parents intuitively understood the developmental needs of their
    children, and in this case, the crucial importance of the development of a positive and secure Māori
    identity. The same demand from Pasifika parents eventually developed the intermediate school to a
    middle school, and then to add Years 11 to 13 to become a designated-character Year 7 to 13 secondary
    school with a special character that is culturally and community responsive, based in whanau/family and
    the languages and cultural norms of Māori and Pasifika learners. This demand from parents and
    community, and the development of a school to meet these demands differs from the desire of RVS [and
    ACS] parents only in that one sought a Māori and Pasifika cultural identity and the other seeks a faith-
    centred identity. Our education system is designed to give parents this type of choice.
    The following table outlines the benefits for students and for families from lessons learned in the Kia
    Aroha College development, from a primary (Year 7/8) environment, to a middle school (Ys 7-10) to
    finally become a Year 7 to 13 designated-character secondary school with a total roll number of
    approximately 300. This experience provides a blueprint and an effective example for [other schools].
     Benefits for families            Benefits for students                    Benefits for learning
     • School environment             • School environment matches home        • Home/school values match and
       matches home and family          and family values                        students’ learning is well supported in
       values                                                                    both.
                                      • Transition through different
     • School environment               developmental and schooling stages     • Smaller roll numbers allow for
       provides an authentic            is smooth and overlaps [see              innovative curriculum approaches –
       setting for parental             Personalised Learning p 12, 19]          individual pathways, bundling of NCEA
       involvement and                                                           standards in an integrated
                                      • The crucial stage of identity
       participation                                                             curriculum/youth action research
                                        development in emerging
                                                                                 approach (used very successfully at Kia
     • The home/school                  adolescence is supported within a
                                                                                 Aroha College), service and
       relationship is one that is      faith-based environment
                                                                                 community-based learning which
       reciprocal and mutually
                                      • Rather than alienation from, or          reflect the community’s values. [see
       beneficial
                                        isolation in school at Years 9/10,       Personalised Learning p 12, 19]
     • Parents can continue to          students develop leadership skills
                                                                               • A “clean slate” mindset i.e. the
       build strong relationships       and confidence as the older students
                                                                                 opportunity to design curriculum for a
       of trust with a small group      in the Year 7-10 programme.
                                                                                 new school allows for different
       of teachers they know
                                      • This early leadership and maturity       thinking that doesn’t need to follow
       well, and who know them
                                        provides a stable base for               previous structures and conventions
       and their children.
                                        engagement, learning, and leading in     for school organization. Learning can
     • School operates as a             the senior school – which leads to       be driven by the question, “What best
       family [a consistently           deeper learning and thinking [see        suits our learners”?
       stated strength of all small     Benefits: Leadership p 12]
                                                                               • The opportunity to partner with like-
       and medium sized area
                                      • Because the staff work together          minded schools in a digital, online
       schools ACS staff visited]
                                        there are opportunities for overlap      environment provides curriculum
                                        and support across year levels e.g.      breadth and further options. [see
                                        able Year 10 students beginning          Online Learning p 22].
                                        NCEA literacy and numeracy, or
                                                                               • Teachers from different education
                                        those needing more support being
                                                                                 sectors have the opportunity to work
                                        given these opportunities through an
                                                                                 together and learn from each other’s
                                        individual pathway approach.
                                                                                 different experiences e.g. secondary
                                                                                 teachers learn about subject
                                                                                 integration and integrated curriculum
                                                                                 from the primary teachers’ skill in
                                                                                 these areas.

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An example of the benefits of matching school and home values and embedding these in curriculum can
    be found in the achievement of students in quality Kura Kaupapa Māori and Māori-medium learning
    environments. These schools’ function as whānau, most often with small roll numbers at senior levels,
    yet the outcomes for students are better than those of their peers in English-medium schools. Māori
    students in high quality immersion and bilingual settings also have lower rates of truancy and higher
    NCEA attainment rates. (Ministry of Education, 2010). These benefits in a faith-based context are the
    intent and expectation of the RVS [and ACS] proposal.

    References
    Diggs, C., & Akos, P. (2016). The Promise of Character Education in Middle School: A Meta-Analysis.
    Middle Grades Review, 2(2). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.uvm.edu/mgreview/vol2/iss2/4
    Durling, N., Ng, L., & Bishop, P. (2010). The Education of Years 7 to 10 Students: A focus on their teaching
    and learning needs. Wellington, N.Z: Ministry of Education. Retrieved from
    www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications
    Lipsitz, J., Mizell, M. H., Jackson, A., & Austin, L. M. (1997). Speaking with one voice. Phi Delta Kappan,
    78(7), 533–540. Retrieved from
    http://search.proquest.com/openview/2dd7beb0aa6e5220ab166db871de1367/1?pq-origsite=gscholar
    Milne, A. (2016). Coloring in the White Spaces: Reclaiming Cultural Identity in Whitestream Schools. New
    York: Peter Lang Publishing.
    Ministry of Education. (2007). The New Zealand Curriculum.
    Ministry of Education. (2010). OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving
    School Outcomes. Wellington, N.Z: Ministry of Education. Retrieved from
    www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications

    Alternative Secondary Provider

    Benefits
    This application highlights the benefit of having a faith-based school option within Ashburton and has
    provided some evidence of the benefits of a full Area School model. In addition to that, ACS is in a good
    position to complement the existing High School provisions within Mid-Canterbury and our Hakatere
    Kāhui Ako (see Appendix 3) by serving a minority group of students who suffer from anxiety, loneliness or
    bullying issues.
               “New Zealand and international research shows that student wellbeing, or a lack of
               it, has a clear influence on student mental health and learning. To enable every
               student to achieve to their highest potential, it is essential that effective services to
               support student wellbeing are available both in schools and the wider community…
               Schools are in a unique position to work with other agencies and the wider
               community to help improve and support young people’s wellbeing. Within an
               unstable and uncertain world, schools have the potential to be places of safety,
               stability and security where young people can experience connection and belonging
               that supports their development.” (Ministry of Education, 2017, Te Pakiaka Tangata
               Strengthening Student Wellbeing for Success, p.14-15)

    The local context is important when considering this benefit. Currently, pupils have one or two local High
    Schools they can realistically attend. Students who are failing academically and socially are able to join
    the Community Entry Programme run by Ashburton College, or programmes with YMCA or the Salvation
    Army. These options are largely for those with behavioural problems and include reduced hours and offer
    basic literacy and mathematics. They do not always cater for the minority group we are referring to.

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As a smaller rural school, ACS can serve a need in this area. The school had enquiries in the last two years
    for each of the reasons above and have served three such pupils through the non-preference roll with
    great improvement to their well-being; namely, their confidence, happiness, attendance rates and
    engagement in learning. In the last six months the school has turned away three other such students due
    to our full roll. To meet this need, the board has made a decision in principle to leave open a larger
    proportion of its non-preference roll for Years 9 to 13 students or to negotiate a formal non-preference
    split between the two parts of the school as described on page 5.
    By highlighting this area, we wish to make it clear that we are in no way suggesting that Ashburton
    College or Mount Hutt College cannot fill this need for many of its students and provide a caring safe
    environment. They can. The salient point, as mentioned earlier, is that not every school can always cater
    for every child.
    Research on the effect of small school size is relevant here. In a meta-analysis of research into the effect
    of school size, Scheerens, Hendriks and Luyten (2014) highlighted the following benefits of small school
    sizes in America. (Note that other research they reviewed from other countries did not show the same
    correlation):
        •   Positive effect on equity by raising achievement for students from low SES backgrounds (neutral
            effect on other students)
        •   Positive effect reducing drop-put and increasing attendance and engagement
        •   Positive effect on attitudes to learning for both students and teachers
        •   Positive effects on personalised learning
    The reasons given for these benefits are:
        •   Relational Trust between staff and students and, in rural settings, with the community
        •   Commitment to a common purpose
        •   More personalised learning
    These findings are affirmed by our experience, as mentioned above. Our size has allowed for the
    development of a strongly pastoral and relational model of education. There is a deliberate consideration
    of the whole child [see ‘Philosophy of Education/Personalised Learning’]. It allows for a highly responsive
    educational provision. The board is in the process of strengthening that provision by considering the
    establishment of a school chaplain or counsellor in addition to the existing 100% tagging of teaching staff.
    In addition the school is using the NZCER Well-Being at School resources to enhance our capacity in this
    area.
    Our 2018 CR&RP survey (Culturally Responsive and Relational Pedagogy Survey), conducted by Te Whare
    Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in 2018, indicated a high level of staff competence across the ages and
    cultures. 100% of Maori caregivers, for example, rated our cultural responsiveness as five out of five with
    an overall average of 4.4 out of five for students, with Maori scoring highly.

    Cautions
    The analysis of research also cautioned of two risks smaller schools have (Jaap Scheerens et al). The
    current Principal of Ashburton College has experience leading Area Schools of various sizes and was
    consulted as part of planning for writing this application. He was able to affirm these risks, namely:
        •   The challenge of providing of a wide range of subjects and extra-curricular activities
        •   Susceptibility to relying too much on a few key staff members
    ACS staff visited three small area schools (two in Southland and on in Carterton) with pupil sizes of 105,
    115, and 135, and also visited three larger area schools. Students in both large and small schools were
    interviewed. Findings were that in the smallest schools, the size had not affected any of the students’
    choices but had affected the quality of the delivery of their choices. One school whose quality had
    suffered most had yet to make use of digital technologies, including NetNZ, and were very isolated. These
    cautions found in the research, and affirmed in school visits by ACS Principal, are responded to
    throughout the section entitled ‘Our Proposal for Year 11 to 13 Curriculum’.

2019 ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL CHANGE OF CLASS APPLICATION                                               P a g e | 11
References
    Luyten, H, Hendriks, M, Scheerens, J, (2014), School Size Effects Revisited: A Qualitative and Quantitative
    Review of the Research Evidence in Primary and Secondary Education, Chapter 2, [Online], Netherlands,
    Springer Nature, http://www.learningfocus.nl/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/school-size-effect-
    revisited.pdf
    Ministry of Education, 2017, Te Pakiaka Tangata Strengthening Student Wellbeing for Success: Guidelines
    to Assist New Zealand Secondary Schools and Wharekura in the Provision of Good Practice in Pastoral
    Care, Guidance and Counselling, New Zealand Government, Wellington, New Zealand

    Personalised Learning
    Personalised Learning is a key part of this proposal. It is both essential and eminently do-able in a school
    of our proposed size, even during growth years with smaller numbers. There has been significant
    progress in implementing a personalised learning programme at Years 9 and 10 with plans to conduct
    more research to refine current practice. Further commentary on current practice, philosophy and our
    proposal around personalised learning under Educational Viability. It contains a section on ‘Our
    Experience’. A recent report to the board is also attached as evidence of current progress toward
    delivering personalised learning                            (Appendix 4: Year 9 and 10 Options Board Report)
    A Competencies Based Approach
    Key competencies (KC) of the NZC are a vitally important part of teaching and learning. ACS have been on
    a journey towards establishing a deliberate KC based curriculum. This remains an essential part of the
    development of students in Years 11 to 13 as KCs are capabilities essential and in high demand in the
    work force.
    For three years, staff at ACS have been implementing a
    conceptual thinking programme designed to improve
    the depth and complexity of students’ thinking. (With
    professional development from NZ Centre for Gifted
    Education).
    Further to that, inquiry and project-based learning have
    been used that demands the effective use of the
    competencies. In these times, teachers have
    repositioned themselves as coaches of small groups or
    individuals to advance the development of those skills.
    This has resulted in rich conversations and increased
    sophistication and application of the KCs in the
    students’ practice.
    Leadership and Servanthood                                     Figure 1: Conceptual Thinking Programme Overview
    The advantage of a leadership programme in a small                               ©NZCGE 2016
    school is that provision of opportunities can be made
    for all pupils, not just those with special gifts in this area. ACS Year 9 and 10 pupils have a strong servant
    leadership programme established which includes the following activities:
        •   running special school events
        •   leading whanau groups
        •   running an activity day for another local school
        •   serving in a local retirement home for people with dementia
        •   initiatives that grow out of inquiries, which includes directing the entire school production

2019 ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL CHANGE OF CLASS APPLICATION                                                     P a g e | 12
The benefits to students of these activities include:
        •   Confidence in public speaking and taking a lead
        •   Behaviour management of young children
        •   Event management
        •   Relational maturity
        •   High Expectations of teachers translates to high expectations of themselves
        •   Growing ability and understanding of the cost of serving

    These leadership opportunities would remain for the Year 9 and 10 students. Staff would build on this
    strength with Year 11 to 13 students, particularly through the avenues of project-based learning and
    World Studies (see ‘Proposal for Year 11 to 13 Curriculum’). While much of the Year 9-10 leadership is
    based within ACS and the Ashburton community, there will be opportunity to extend Year 11 to 13
    leadership to the wider Mid-Canterbury district, other parts of New Zealand and, potentially, overseas.
    This could be in conjunction with other CEN schools e.g. Middleton Grange School Senior College.

2019 ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL CHANGE OF CLASS APPLICATION                                            P a g e | 13
Educational Viability

    (The following sections are written by the Principal to describe the learning journey that he and the staff
    have been through)
    Philosophy of Education
    Philosophy of Education is included to demonstrate our awareness of and engagement in a reasoned
    approach to Curriculum Design and School Structure. Note that philosophy is an ever-evolving
    exploration of ideas.

    Our Experience So Far
    We (ACS school leadership) have been considering arguments for educational change for some time. It
    was both hard to define but somehow exciting; even unsettling and confusing. There appeared to me a
    lot of noise, fluff and dead ends, but little substance. We waded on through the confusion, even bought
    some MLE furniture. We ran a few trials or experiments, dabbling without committing. All the time we
    were trying to find a common thread, a theory, an idea or two, that seemed to draw all these things
    together.
    You would think that we should first be convinced of the need for change and then begin the process of
    change. It didn’t work like that for us. The ‘why, what and how’ were learnt together. Sometimes we
    cannot see the benefit of something, its true value, until we give it a go. Then a new pathway in the
    creative mind opens up, and more possibilities are seen.
    After some years of engaging with the ideas (conferences, books, school visits and experiments), we
    started to become convinced that the ‘thing of substance’ was staring us in the face all along; the Key
    Competencies (KCs). These are the soft skills that students would need in our ever-changing world. Later
    we would ‘discover’ the concept of Personalised Learning.
    KCs were developed as a central part of the NZC, along with values, subjects, principles. The KCs are
    described in the NZ Curriculum as ‘Capabilities for living and life-long learning’ (2007, p.12). Each
    Competency can be defined as a cluster of capabilities. “A ‘capability’ is demonstrated in action. It is what
    the student shows they can do—and is willing to do—as a result of their learning.” (Hipkins, 2017,
    Weaving a coherent curriculum: How the idea of ‘capabilities’ can help, p.1).
    KCs, or soft skills, have had international endorsement as well. Both Andy Hargreaves, and Mark
    Treadwell have developed their own sets as part of their global curriculums.
    In NZ schools, it appears that the KCs were mostly noted but not embraced for many years. Initially,
    perhaps, it was hard to know what to do with them when they were only generally defined and not
    accompanied with much PLD. While compulsory they could easily be passed off as ‘integrated’ without
    specifically being taught. They are problematic to assess, and we always love to assess. How are they
    taught anyway?
    At ACS, the idea of KCs being central to education was tested with a number of educational leaders and
    the staff in our school. There was agreement that this was of central importance in the change debate,
    and critical to a good education in today’s world. We began to change, most notably by introducing
    concept-based learning and inquiry based learning (through PLD with NZCER and EduKate) as well as
    experimenting with project based learning.
    As we implemented changes we began to see other benefits, most notably student engagement and self-
    direction. We had begun the journey of personalised learning, particularly at Years 7 and 10.
    But even now, as we have made these changes, we are finding we have to be drawn back to consider the
    place and influence of other parts of the NZC; namely the subjects and values along with the principles
    that lie under our decision making in these areas. This focus back is particularly important as we look into
    Senior Secondary education.

2019 ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL CHANGE OF CLASS APPLICATION                                               P a g e | 14
Key Drivers for Educational Change
    Following this process, the principal used his sabbatical studies to explore the arguments for change
    more deeply. Following is a summary of that research.
    There has been a great deal of talk on educational change in the last few decades. Change has always
    been there. There is now, in the minds of some, a special urgency to it. The ageless aim remains; to
    prepare our children for the world they are growing up into. But the world is, apparently, a rapidly
    changing, unpredictable place. The argument follows that education must change to suit.
    There are three significant aspects of societal change that are drivers for educational change; economic,
    environmental and sociological.
    Some would argue that technology is a fourth driver. However, in my view, it sits apart from the others.
    This is because the other three have a clearly stated vision for change. Technology does not. It is more of
    a tool. But tools themselves still influence simply because they bear the imprint of the makers’ values.
    We may shape them but, without care, they will come to shape us as the smart phone is already doing,
    and the clock has already done. In fact, the advancement has been so rapid of late that we barely have
    time to reflect on the influence the advancements are having on the way we think, behave or solve
    problems. Consequently, I believe we need to view technology as a value laden tool and use it with
    cautious optimism.
    Now for the three drivers of change. Firstly, the economic. Advancements in technology mean the
    industrial age economy has been superseded by what Gilbert calls the Knowledge Society. It is out with
    masses of people working on production lines and in with job markets that require soft skills such as
    creativity, collaboration and problem solving; out with managers and their subordinates and in with
    society needing all people to have those skills. Knowledge now has less or no intrinsic value (Though, with
    further consideration we have rejected this idea. See: ‘Knowledge Redefined’ p16). Its value lies in what it
    does. It is either a commodity that is traded or a tool for problem solving. Consequently, there is no
    knowledge more valuable than any other knowledge, giving rise to phrases such as “just in time
    knowledge”, though I don’t hear academics using this. Most significantly for schools, knowledge is so
    easily accessed that the traditional task of schools downloading knowledge into the minds of students is
    now unnecessary1. Howard Gardner’s intelligences fit the new thinking well. All intelligences are equal in
    value and importance and usefulness in the problem-solving process. Note there is no empirical evidence
    for Gardner’s theory. Therefore, its credibility is accorded by the philosophy of the age rather than
    empirical evidence. This brings us to the second driver.
    The second change driver is sociological. In philosophical terms we define the societal change as moving
    from modernity to post-modernity; these being either two distinct ages or the second being the natural
    outworking of the first. Trust in the science and democracy of the modernist is eroding. Uniformity is
    more thoroughly replaced by individualism. Equality is no longer sameness but different people having
    their needs met as different people; for example, Maori as Maori and Women as Women. This has
    obvious links to personalised learning. Any sense of objective truth still left with the modernists is further
    diminished. Truth is now individualised as much as our consumerism is. Some talk of values, not truth. In
    fact, some talk of values apart from truth2. In essence, we continue to strive for a better society, but
    through the vision given to us by the post-modernist.

    1For example, recently an eight year old student made their own sun dial and a fifteen year old student his own aluminium
    smelter; both at home and without reference to school, or reading, for that matter. Thanks You Tube. ALL the content needed
    for learning is freely available online and other easily accessible resources. There are also plenty of people in the community
    available to critique work effectively, not all of them teachers. Further, students can gain university entrance without NCEA or
    an equivalent, as universities will now accept portfolios of work as evidence of learning.
    2
      For example, traits such as humility and self-denial are considered virtues even by capitalists and uniformitarians. However,
    the philosophical underpinnings of capitalists and uniformitarians more accurately define those traits as vices.

2019 ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL CHANGE OF CLASS APPLICATION                                                                  P a g e | 15
The third driver is environmental. It could be argued this is one aspect of the sociological change, but I
    keep it separate here. Clearly, we are treating the planet poorly. There is a growing conscience and sense
    of responsibility that has moved beyond a few championing groups and into the mainstream.
    These societal and technological forces demand a response from education. While the principal’s
    sabbatical report explores this more fully, it is probably better to jump ahead here to the philosophical
    implications for our proposed Senior Secondary College.

    Implications for Senior Secondary
    In brief, the philosophical implications underpinning Senior Secondary at ACS will be these; noting again
    that philosophical discussions are on-going and ever developing.
            Purposeful End Goals
    The end goal of learning must serve a purpose. Postman (1995), in his book ‘The End of Education’ makes
    a strong argument for this need, and how this essential to education. “I mean to suggest”, he says, “that
    without a transcendent and honourable purpose, schooling must reach its finish, and the sooner we are
    done with it, the better” (p.xi). He proceeds to argue for purposes (‘gods’ little ‘g’) that have failed and
    ones that may serve.
    At ACS our purpose is to live out a life aligned with the vision of the Special Character. Such an education
    is motivational and aspirational. That purpose then needs to link to serving through our chosen careers.
    Thus, careers become a means to a greater end.
             Character and Values Formation
    In order to serve wholeheartedly, young people must have the character that leads to an ability and
    desire to serve. Such a character includes humility, kindness, gentleness, self-control, perseverance,
    resilience, self-denial and many other such fundamental and indispensable traits. Education should be
    deliberate about teaching and providing opportunities to develop these.
             Spiritual Formation
    This is principally done in the home but secondarily supported, encouraged and developed by close
    family friends and institutions such as church and school. It is not coercion but influence. Where there is
    coercion the most likely outcomes are rebellion or legalistic fanaticism. From this basis we will support
    children in developing a vision for life, in line with our Deed of Integration and Special Character, a vision
    that takes seriously the special character values of the home including humility, service and love for
    neighbour.
            Soft Skills/Key Competencies
    Learning must be designed to enhance each students Key Competencies, as these are critical to realising
    our purpose. This implies that there should be assessment (more likely qualitative) along with deliberate
    teaching and goal setting.
    Competencies are also critical in that they give power to character. They must take a place of central
    importance, even at High School. High Schools need to create opportunities for developing the KCs in
    authentic contexts; not tokenistic, but deliberate and planned and sophisticated. The situations created
    for learning these skills need to be as real to life as possible (think project or phenomenon-based
    learning, or innovations such as Guy Claxton’s Building Learning Power) so they can pattern learning in
    the way we desire children to go on living their lives. This will equip them for the current age.
             Knowledge Redefined
    The nature of knowledge has been heavily debated. After consideration of various philosophical stand-
    points, we have arrived at the following position. Knowledge has intrinsic value. It is not just a thing.
    Rather, we engage with it in relationship. We offer a commitment to learn and it offers us insights into
    understanding, wisdom and social action. It leads to positive emotions of awe and wonder that lead us to
    praise or enlightenment; or negative emotions such as frustration and indignation that lead to positive
    social action. Further, knowledge provides the muscles to the bones of conceptual understanding.
    Without it, understanding has no context, no story to give it meaning. Finally, the knowledge we gain is

2019 ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL CHANGE OF CLASS APPLICATION                                                 P a g e | 16
essential for forming our identity and so the selection of which knowledge we learn, particularly in the
    humanities, requires discernment.
             Conceptual Understanding
    The world is conceptually designed and can be conceptually understood, a capability that is uniquely
    human. Therefore, education should elucidate this reality and teach children to use it. Those who are
    meta-cognitively aware of concepts and can apply that knowledge to varying situations and across
    disciplines, can be powerful problem solvers.
             Personalised Learning
    Learning must be tailored to the student holistically, giving consideration to the many aspects of their
    identity. Figure 2 shows some of the significant aspects that make up individuals, though reality is not so
    neatly arranged as a pie chart.
    Some aspects are more specifically related to the purposes of schools. However, none can be ignored in
    the development of a personalised learning model. For example, consider Student A. She has a general
    idea of purpose and particular gifts in the Sciences. But she also has a specific learning need in literacy, a
    weakness in relating to others and comes from a minority cultural background. All realities will feed into a
    plan for learning.

                                     KNOWING THE LEARNER
                                      Competencies                      Family

                             Character                                               Personality

                      Spirituality                                                         Learning Needs

                               Gender                                                 Gifts and Talents

                                Ethnicity and Culture                   Interests and Passions

                                                   Figure 2: Aspects of a Learner

            Collaborative Learning
    Note that Personalised Learning does not mean individualised learning. Every child needs to engage in
    collaborative learning to some extent, for their benefit and for the group’s. It is both a need for learning
    now and collaborative problem solving in their future contexts. It strongly links to the KCs. All this
    considered, collaborative learning needs to be a part of any personalised learning model.
            Structure
    The structure of the curriculum needs to serve each of the aspects above. Therefore, curriculum design
    and school systems need to be flexible enough, and primarily designed, to support the needs of the
    learners, with sufficient structure to ensure learning is taking place.

2019 ASHBURTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL CHANGE OF CLASS APPLICATION                                                 P a g e | 17
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